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Obama And Reid Have Given Access To Notorious Democrat Donor Salomon Melgen

 

OBAMA AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D-NV) GOT CHUMMY WITH SALOMON MELGEN

In 2010, Melgen Was Schmoozing With Obama When He Co-Hosted A Democrat Fundraiser

Embroiled Democrat Donor Salomon Melgen “Schmoozed” With Obama At 2010 DSCC Fundraiser Co-Hosted By Melgen. “Melgen briefly schmoozed Obama at a 2010 fundraiser Melgen co-hosted benefiting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Menendez chaired at the time. The president posed with his arm around Melgen in a photo obtained exclusively by POLITICO.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

  • Fundraiser Host Seema Sharma: Melgen Got “A Few Extra Minutes” To Speak With Obama. “‘Everybody gets a photo-op, but the host committee just gets a few extra minutes to meet with the president,’ said Seema Sharma, who hosted the fundraiser at her family home in the Washington suburbs. Melgen ‘shook hands with [Obama] and told him he was from Florida,’ Sharma said. It was ‘small talk, chitchat. There’s just not enough time to have a detailed discussion or any lengthy conversation.’”(Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

Melgen Courted Reid At A 2011 Majority PAC Event

“Melgen Also Tried Courting The Top Senate Democrat: Harry Reid Of Nevada.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

“Melgen Flew Reid On His Company’s Private Plane Last Summer To Boston And Back For A Majority PAC Event, Reid’s Office Confirmed To POLITICO.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

  • Majority PAC, A Super PAC Linked To Reid And Senate Democrat Candidates, Reimbursed Melgen For $4,160 For A Boston Trip Last Summer. “Majority PAC, a super PAC closely linked to Reid that benefits Senate Democratic candidates, reported reimbursing Melgen’s ophthalmology company $4,160 for ‘travel’ last summer. That filing does not specify who did the traveling, when it occurred or the destination, but Reid’s office said that payment was for Reid’s trip to Boston.”(Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)
  • Flight Records Show That Melgen’s Plane Flew To Boston On June 18 . “Flight records show that Melgen’s plane flew from his home airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Sunday afternoon, June 17, then took off at 7:15 the next morning, June 18, en route to Boston. It stayed on the ground less than three hours, before lifting off to return to Reagan, which requires special security clearance for private planes.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

MELGEN HAS A HISTORY OF BENEFITING FROM HIS POLITICAL CONNECTIONS

“Some Rich Folks Looking For Special Treatment Would Work Through A Lobbyist With Experience Navigating Government Bureaucracy. Not Melgen – He Was His Own Lobbyist, With Access To Lots Of Cash And A Private Jet Owned By His Company.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

A Federal Grand Jury Is Investigating The Role Of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) “In Advocating For The Business Interests” Of Major Donor Salomon Melgen . “A federal grand jury in Miami is investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), examining his role in advocating for the business interests of a wealthy donor and friend, according to three people aware of the probe. Menendez has intervened in matters affecting the financial interests of Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, seeking to apply pressure on the Dominican government to honor a contract with Melgen’s port-security company, documents and interviews show. Also, Menendez’s office has acknowledged he interceded with federal health-care officials after they said that Melgen had overbilled the U.S. government for care at his clinic. Melgen has provided Menendez with plane flights and hospitality at his Dominican vacation home, say people acquainted with their relationship.”(Carol D. Leonnig and Jerry Markon, “Sen. Menendez Contacted Top Officials In Friends Medicare Dispute,” The Washington Post, 2/6/13)

  • Melgen Sought The Help Of Top Officials About The Dominican Government’s Hesitation On His $500 Million Port Cargo-Screening Contract And To Challenge The Finding That His Companies Overbilled Medicare. “He went to top officials about the Dominican government’s reluctance to implement a $500 million port cargo-screening contract with one of his companies and to challenge the finding that another of his companies overbilled Medicare. While he was glad-handing politicians, Melgen was living the high life. He was driven around South Florida by a chauffeur in a customized Audi A8 and invited all manner of politicos to his mansion in the Dominican Republic.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Tarini Parti, “Robert Menendez Donor Courted President Obama, Harry Reid,” Politico, 3/19/13)

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Is Being Investigated For His Role In Securing A Port Security Contract That Will Bring In $500 Million For Melgen’s Company

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Advocated For The U.S. To Maintain A Port Security Contract That Would Bring In $500 Million In Revenue To Melgen’s Company . “Senator Robert Menendez sought to discourage any plan by the United States government to donate port security equipment to the Dominican Republic, citing concern that the advanced screening gear might undermine efforts by a private company – run by a major campaign contributor and friend of his – to do the work. The intervention with the Department of Homeland Security last month came even though Mr. Menendez has publicly chastised the Obama administration for not doing more to combat the surging drug traffic moving through Dominican ports.” (Eric Lipton and William Rashbaum, “Menendez Backed Donor On Port Security Plan,” The New York Times, 2/10/13)

Menendez Aides Have Admitted That Menendez Spoke To State Department Officials And Other Obama Administration Officials About The Port Security Contract . “Aides have acknowledged that Mr. Menendez had spoken to State Department officials about the port security contract, which the Dominican government was refusing to honor; the senator questioned other administration officials about it as well. But in recently obtained e-mails, the degree to which Mr. Menendez sought to intervene on behalf of Dr. Melgen’s interests became clearer.”(Eric Lipton and William Rashbaum, “Menendez Backed Donor On Port Security Plan,” The New York Times, 2/10/13)

  • Melgen Brought A Former Aide To Menendez To His Meeting With A Senior State Department Official To Push For The Port Security Contract. “And it came shortly after the senator’s friend, Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, arranged to meet with a senior State Department official, accompanied by a former aide to Mr. Menendez, in a related push to protect the port security contract, which is worth as much as $500 million over 20 years.” (Eric Lipton and William Rashbaum, “Menendez Backed Donor On Port Security Plan,” The New York Times2/10/13)

In An Email Exchange With Customs And Border Protection, An Aide To Menendez Urged The U.S. To Refrain From Donating Any Of Its Port Equipment To The Dominican Republic, Citing Security Concerns. “In a January e-mail exchange with Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Menendez’s staff did not mention Dr. Melgen or his company, Boarder Support Services, by name. But the aide asked if the United States government was planning to donate additional port security equipment to the Dominican Republic. The aide explained that if such a donation occurred, the Dominican government, perhaps under pressure from criminal elements there, might intentionally limit the use of the equipment so that drugs or other contraband could still flow through the country’s ports on the way to the United States.” (Eric Lipton and William Rashbaum, “Menendez Backed Donor On Port Security Plan,” The New York Times, 2/10/13)

  • The Aide Advocated Hiring A Private Contractor In Order To Ensure That Port Security In The Dominican Republic Would Be “Enhanced.” “Only by hiring the unnamed private contractor, the e-mail said, could the United States be assured that port security in the Dominican Republic would be enhanced. ‘Apparently there are some efforts by individuals who do not want the increased security’ in the Dominican Republic, the e-mail from Mr. Menendez’s office said. ‘These elements, possibly criminal, want C.B.P. to give the government equipment,’ the e-mail said, ‘because they believe the government use of the equipment will be less effective than the outside contractor. My boss is concerned that the C.B.P. equipment will be used for this ulterior motive.’ A Customs and Border Protection official assured Mr. Menendez’s staff that there was no immediate plan to deliver such equipment, so there was no need for the senator to intervene.” (Eric Lipton and William Rashbaum, “Menendez Backed Donor On Port Security Plan,” The New York Times, 2/10/13)

After Melgen Had Been Ordered To Repay The Government $8.9 Million For Overbilling Medicare, Menendez Raised Concerns With The Charges

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Raised Concerns With Top Federal Health-Care Officials Twice In Recent Years About Their Charges That Melgen Overbilled The Government By $8.9 Million In Medicare Payments. “Sen. Robert Menendez raised concerns with top federal health-care officials twice in recent years about their finding that a Florida eye doctor – a close friend and major campaign donor – had overbilled the government by $8.9 million for care at his clinic, Menendez aides said Wednesday. Menendez (D-N.J.) initially contacted federal officials in 2009 about the government’s audit of Salomon Melgen, complaining to the director overseeing Medicare payments that it was unfair to penalize the doctor because the billing rules were ambiguous, the aides said. Last year, in a meeting with the acting administrator of the agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid, Menendez again questioned whether federal auditors had been fair in their assessment of Melgen’s billing for eye injections to treat macular degeneration, the senator’s aides said.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Jerry Markon, “Sen. Menendez Contacted Top Officials In Friends Medicare Dispute,” The Washington Post, 2/6/13)

  • Melgen Has Been Ordered To Repay The Government $8.9 Million. “The agency had ordered Melgen to repay the $8.9 million, and at the time of both conversations, Melgen was disputing the agency’s conclusion. His appeal continues to this day.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Jerry Markon, “Sen. Menendez Contacted Top Officials In Friends Medicare Dispute,” The Washington Post, 2/6/13)